My 12-35mm is going back - not because of quality, though

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by rgeorge911, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. rgeorge911

    rgeorge911 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2012
    I got my 12-35mm f2.8 last week, and tested it over a long weekend.

    I have decided to send it back. Not because of image quality (which is great, frankly), color of the lens (people don't like purple?), or any noise (mine doesn't make noise).

    No, in the end, I just enjoy primes more. The whole time the 12-35mm replaced the 25mm Summilux in my bag, I missed the Summilux. I don't mind changing lenses for the increased light gathering. I think the Lumix primes have just spoiled me.

    I've posted about it on my blog, as well. The 35mm long end is a little short for me, and I think I need wider than f2.8 to get the depth of field that I prefer.

    So, I know I'll continue to see awesome pictures made with the 12-35. It will be the perfect lens for a lot of people; just not for me.

    My Lumix Blog:
    • Like Like x 4
  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I understand what you're saying, the fast primes have spoiled me as well. I hardly ever use a zoom anymore - the exception being the 100-300mm (although, I tend to use that mostly at 100mm. :cool:
  3. rgeorge911

    rgeorge911 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2012
    I used it at a music festival

    I took it to Floyd Fest, a bluegrass music festival in southern Virginia.

    I'll be posting more pics on my blog after I get done with postprocessing. Again, no complaints on the image quality.

    My Lumix Blog:
  4. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    I can sympathize...I love the lens, but am missing using the 25. I end up always bringing the 12-35, just because it's more practical, but it will never compete with how special the 25 is.
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I love my 12-35mm but I still know what you mean... f/2.8 isn't quite fast enough to replace primes for DoF control, and 35mm has repeatedly felt short to me as the long end of the zoom. I really wish it was just a little longer in the 45-60 range, even if it meant a bigger overall lens.

    As much as I enjoy my zooms, I also know what you mean about primes too. This past weekend I did a photo walk for the afternoon and ended up leaving behind all the zooms and just using a 12, 20, 45 trio of primes. It was really enjoyable and I liked being forced to frame my shots more carefully to suit the lens I had available at the time.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've gone through that realization as well.... When I was a canon primary shooter I had access to a bunch of quality zooms; The trinity of f/2.8 and as well as their slower but more flexible cousins (7-14, 24-105, 100-400). In the end, I found the f/2.8 zooms a compromise that didn't fit me. Not the fidelity of my primes, 1 stop less than most of my primes, heavy packaging, nor did they have the flexibility of the other longer ranged zooms. As I sold them off, the last to go were my primes (24L, 50 f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 135 f/2L, 300 f/4L) and the 24-105L. With my go to walkaround being 24-105L +50 f/1.4.

    I definitely can see the need for a professional in a dynamic, low light situation needing those fast zooms but for me, the enjoyment is mostly through the primes.
  7. parka

    parka Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2012
    I understand.

    I was recently shooting a video with the 12-35mm and I was like,"OMG! I can zoom!". But I miss some of the shallow depth of field from the f/1.4.
  8. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    Real Name:
    I do not see it as a one or the other situation. I certainly plan on keeping my 12-35 along with my 7-14, 35-100, 100-300, 25mm and 45mm. That is a lot of cash, but they all have their purposes.
  9. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Real Name:
    "creativity loves constraints"
    thats why we use the primes!
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I have always been and will remain a 'both have their place' sort of guy. Places where I have time and desire to swap glass or move around a lot? Primes. Top tier image quality, portraits? Primes.

    Travel? Zooms. With few exceptions.
  11. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    I can understand a preference for a prime at a particular event, or a specific photo walkabout... however I prefer this zoom to a bag full of primes. This is probably also because I like it for travel.

    It gives me a 12/2.8, 17.5/2.8, 25/2.8 & 35/2.8. Would I travel with the 12, 17.5, 25, and 45 instead of this one zoom? Probably not. I'll mostly bring this and 45/1.8

    I shot a vacation with the 7-14, 20 & 45 mostly, but I didn't like spending time swapping lenses in the most inconvenient places because my 20 wasn't wide enough or back to the 20 from the ultrawide when I wanted to photograph undistorted people nearby.

    If you don't love the lens, it's a rather expensive to just have laying around.
  12. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    Love that! I love a challenge, Some of my more award-winning photos were taken with a cheap $200 p&s. I loved using cheaper lenses and getting just as good of results as the L guys.

    As for the OP I understand too. Primes are just hard to beat. They are fun to use. For me sometimes it's hard since I can't move quick and lose the moment unless I have a zoom. But for things where they're not as needed I'd love an all prime kit! Just can't afford it right now, or i'd have the 14mm and 45 mm in my bag. I can't wait for a longer prime too, depending on the weight.
  13. Microman

    Microman Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 16, 2012
    Both have their uses I think. Primes are small, lightweight and fast and the 12-35mm is perfect if you need to change focal lengths faster. There are situations were switching lenses just isn't an option. It slows you down a lot. Carrying two bodies can be interesting I think. One for primes and one with a zoom or both for primes or zooms. The latest PEN bodies with the excellent 16 megapixel Sony sensor are small and light and they don't weigh much more then a lens.
  14. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I love the 7-14, 12-35 and 35-100, I have the 25 but rarely use it. For my style of shooting the 3 zooms give me the versatility, convenience, quality and focal range I need, I find f2.8 is fast enough and gives shallow enough dof for most of my work.
    I just can't be bothered swapping lenses that often to carry a bunch of primes.

  15. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    I do understand the OP. I'd love to try the 12-35, but the primes are so good! I think even if I bought it it would sit in a bag/drawer. There are many situations when I have a prime on that scream for a wider angle (I just have the 25 and 45) but simply can't put the 14-42 on because I know how different the end result will be.

    Having said that, I am struggling in whether to get a 12 2.0 or the 2.8 zoom, because of how similarly priced they are.
  16. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    rob collins
    Actually one of things about M43 that people rarely mention - it is not just lighter, it is that changing lenses is a breeze. I am a constant lens changer. And I have the 12-35.
  17. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Sometimes, the situation requires the correct tool for the job. Given one body and shooting outdoors at our local Polar Bears winter dip, it was breezy and sandy with occasional wetness; the scene was chaotic; shooting targets presented both near and far. Glad I had the 12-35 on me. Afterward, back to my primes.
  18. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    rgeorge911 - ^5 on making a decision.

    I've been very tempted to get the P12-35, but I have resisted. I have the 24-70L for my FF system, but it rarely gets used so I've been hesitant on the P12-35. I recognize how easy life would be with the P12-35 on one camera and the P35-100 on the other ... I just I've never been a fan of 24mm (FF=). If it was a 10-30, I'd get it just for those times when easy and fast, (a zoom is faster to adjust than switching out primes), is important.

    The moral is that I'm with you in not having to toss a coin between primes or zoom on the wider end of life. (The exception being the P7-14.)

  19. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I feel the same way. I like my zooms for long (100-300) and UWA (9-18), but in between I much prefer fast primes.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    That's an eye-opening way of considering it.